Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter food for thought...

As different people do different activities on this day, my mind and heart went here:

We are a people who believe in nothing or something. Humanity can choose
devotion to one God or many Gods or no God.
Yet...
the God I am devoted to is the most loyal, loving God I know. How?

He is the only God who ever endured humiliation, betrayal, mocking 
and beating to demonstrate that we are THAT important
to him. Love's a sacrifice and he did that because he wants us to be with him-forever

HAPPY EASTER!





Wednesday, March 20, 2013

One Word 365 "Weak" update

My word for this year is weak. Mostly a negative word in our society. A label to run away from unless you are choosing humility and obedience to God.
 
Just look at the different meanings for weak...not desirable, huh?

1. Lacking physical strength, energy, or vigor; feeble.
2. Likely to fail under pressure, stress, or strain; lacking resistance: a weak link in a chain.
3. Lacking firmness of character or strength of will.
4. Lacking the proper strength or amount of ingredients: weak coffee.
5. Lacking the ability to function normally or fully: a weak heart.
6. Lacking aptitude or skill: a weak student; weak in math.
7. Lacking or resulting from a lack of intelligence.
8. Lacking persuasiveness; unconvincing: a weak argument.
9. Lacking authority or the power to govern.
10. Lacking potency or intensity: weak sunlight.
Other than #4 or #10...at some point in my life, I have exhibited each of those. I find it easy to admit I am weak when I want hubby or some male to use his God-given-more-muscle-mass for times where I am hard put to open the pickle jar.  
Yet-
Right now, I am weak...defeated in areas where I am needing victory. Areas I can't pour out here because it is too private...areas where I need God's divine intervention-NOW. Okay, I know that sounded demanding, but I can't help it. Is there anything wrong with wanting to see God change you radically sooner rather than later?  And I wonder when or how the victory will come. 
Yes, I feel His grace even as I type these words. And maybe, just maybe, one of these areas is like the thorn that Paul agonized over...the thorn to keep me dependent-no matter what, on God. My brain deliberates this and my heart receives comfort as the Lord delicately reminds me of his unconditional love. Weak in Him is a warm nest under a large wing.

Something "different" I ate-then and now

It's been awhile since I've linked up here.
I chose writing prompt #5-Something you ate


I grew up in the south. Our family table was greeted often with items smothered in bacon grease. We often had meat at every meal...usually pork or beef.  I look back now and call it clogged arteries on a plate. 
When I moved out, went to college and eventually got married, I decided what to eat and cook. Bacon grease was rarely on the menu. My grandfather and a few other family members had passed away or had heart problems. I didn't want to be a part of that fact on our family tree. So, I began to make changes...SLOWLY.
Southern food=addicting. 

 More recently, I am mostly vegetarian and vegan-NOT because I am all about how animals are not for eating, but for two reasons:  

1. hubby is plagued by food that triggers headaches and sometimes nausea.  And he has problems with eating beef.
2. I have seen how they cut up a cow and it has grossed me out ever since, I don't like how most meat smells, and bonus-I don't really have to worry about E-coli unless I eat items grown in animal manure (can you say gross?).
 
So we have been eating some "different" things that I seriously would have said in my twenties that I would never eat!  
     Recently, the weirdest food I have tried is nutritional yeast or nooch as vegans affectionately call it. 

Nooch is often used as a cheese substitute...interesting, but it just ain't cheese folks! One thing that keeps me non-vegan is my love of cheese-especially on pizza. No, I don't have to have cheese on everything and most meals I make don't have it, but when I think about never having pizza with Mozzarella, I feel a panic attack coming on. 

The best things I have consumed recently? Coconut milk coffee creamer-hello coffee! And Vanilla Almond milk. Talk about heaven in my spinach/banana smoothie or my rice or oatmeal breakfast 

So there ya have it, something I ate then and now. Bon appetite! 


Friday, March 15, 2013

Stupid food, when you cringe and joy.

Anyone else wonder what's up with my title?  It just doesn't go together, right?

I am a multitasking mama-I couldn't quit juggling my thoughts long enough to put one down so I decided to include all three (big, trying to look cute, forgive me grin).

Food is stupid. I mean dealing with food. Stupid. Hubby has migraines and sometimes nausea from a lot of not so whole, fresh food (read any thing unnatural, preservative/MSG lathered and laden). Lest I forget, there's oats, chocolate and beef  that all cause issues. So I broke down and bought a food processor. There's only so much STUPID hand chopping,slicing and dicing to do. Honestly, I love Garlic just not when my hands smell like it. No more teary eyes from cutting onions.  I hear some of you cheering. Now, I do have to say that I still love that I possess Miracle Blades and so cutting one item where I don't need a food processor is lovely.

Sometimes it's the machine's turn to do the dirty work. Hip-hip hooray...it sliced potatoes for baked not fried taters in seriously a matter of seconds! I am thinking that I will experience a new found giddyness before I realize that's what it is...blending my own nut butters or black bean burgers will be practically effortless. 
So all of this figuring out what items in a bag, can or box are acceptable to buy has become a chore and I might go blind from reading the labels. Nonetheless, at least there are some items. My newest hurdle has been what to cook, what to substitute, and well, what to eat. Too bad we can't live on junk mail as there seems to be an endless supply.

*****



OKAY...so you know when you cringe and experience joy simultaneously?..I feel like saying these are mutually exclusive, but I would be lying.
             Speaking in front of groups of people-now there's where I didn't look forward to it and then I did. Huh? I know it doesn't make sense.
Today, I am cringing at the steps, paperwork and plethora of meetings toward getting my first child into a good, safe school. Yet, I am experiencing moments of joy as I feel the Lord holding me. As I feel the effect of trusting Him...where I am not in control and I can't make things happen. Nope, no amount of influencing, planning, or strategic moves is gonna affect where my child goes to school.

Then, I relish in these moments of joy and peace. Knowing that my heart is okay when it feels two emotions at once. Knowing that the Lord who entrusted this first boy to me will protect him as he as always protected me. 

I see the grace. I strongly desire this joy and for the first time in my life, this year, I am understanding God's unspeakable joy...please don't let it end or I will cringe.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Lefty: How Albert Einstein and I are similar

I am a south paw. I know, I know, some people find this intriguing. However, in some countries if I did something with my left hand I would be considered unclean and or possibly thrown in jail! Thank goodness I live in America where I can freely be a lefty.

Sometimes I like this unique part of me where supposedly only about 10% of the population uses their left hand dominantly. I was raised by right-handed parents so technically I am ambidextrous because I cut food with a knife in my right hand, and I tie my shoe like a right-handed person would. I do bat, golf, eat and write with my left all the time.

Then, as labels and stereotypes go there are pitfalls to being a lefty. Desks and notebooks frustrate me. Religion, social and cultural situations and beliefs have linked my handness with the devil, with being backwards, and I annoy right handed people at the table since our elbows touch if we sit next to each other. Even the the word left in English comes from the Anglo-Saxon word lyft, which means weak or broken.

Yet, famous people like Albert Einstein, Beethoven, Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin,and Mark Twain were left handed.  In Judges 20:16 NKJV, the tribe of Benjamin had seven hundred left-handed fighting men who could "sling a stone at a hair's breadth and not miss."
So I don't keep the worst company.

I wonder why that biblical detail was included? Who knows. What I do know is that as a society we really judge what inconveniences us, what we don't understand, and what others have taught us without seeking out the truth for ourselves. Somehow we go on quests to fix what isn't always broken or to change others to fit to our liking. I know because I am guilty of this and labels and stereotypes.

What I love about our God (well, too numerous to list) is that he teaches contrary to humans. Jesus, while on earth, demonstrated love without judgment to EVERYONE. Sure, he pointed out the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, but telling the truth isn't necessarily judgement. He taught us to love one another not agree with everything or like or understand what others do. Love. 

What God is changing in my heart?...there's a heightened awareness of and a decrease in false assumptions and perceptions. I am going beyond tolerance and religion. I am seeing a deeper understanding of His love. Looking beyond what the outside shows or says or does. Seeing past flaws or supposed perfection. "Love", He gently whispers.

And I do...and it feels right and I see the freedom it brings...you are free to be you (lefty or not) and I am free to be me and we let God do the rest.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Home again, Home again...

Five Minute Friday of raw, unedited writing for five minutes straight. Link up and join us here

Home isn't where you hang your hat. It's where you hang your heart. The welcome mat is laid out no matter how long I've been away. No signs at the door to say, "closed" or "no vacancy" because this home, my home is always open. A place where memories are born and not just made.
We can drop our masks and be the human, beautiful mess we are and we are still loved.
   Pajamas, unkempt hair, forgiveness, laughter, coffee rings and tear stains adorn the rooms and home feels real and like a warm, cozy bed I can't help but jump into. I cling hard to this comfort and to this familiar.

Home isn't four walls full of perfection, but of imperfect people.  
These people, they are my home. 











   

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My First Vlog (video)

Today, I am attempting my first Vlog or video on my blog. I am nervous. Please be kind!
video

Well, more "ums" that I wanted, but hey I can always improve, right?

Don't lurk...leave a message of your own struggles, or new things you are trying, a prayer request or a kind comment! Thank you for stopping by. 

Confessions...I am a snob too.

 Okay, so I have a propensity to spew honesty, but that doesn't mean I always enjoy spelling it out for myself or others! It is time I fess up though and reveal parts of me that I am just beginning to recognize, well sort of.

So what better way to do it then couple my confessions with humor?

I am a chicken. "Bock, Bock people." I tell you this because I reluctantly mustered up the courage to send some Children's picture books ( I wrote two, and retold/illustrated book number three) to three publishers. No agent was involved or harmed in the process.
I can't take much credit. On a serious note, I obeyed God and just a year ago began handing over my dreams with the hopes that they would be fulfilled, but knowing that the handing over has nothing to do with success; my obedience and humble heart and me is what He really wants. The rest is just a bonus bubble gum you got out of the machine. And this process doesn't humanly guarantee you those fine lines around your eyes will go away or your money back.
No, the payoff is not the focus. 
It is the deeper intimacy with the Father and it is beautiful.
It is walking blind folded in a room you don't know and
still feeling safe.

And this is where I am at. I sent the books and now I have to wait. This is getting out of the way. I need to pray so that when the rejection comes and I expect it some that I will not assume anything or be crushed. That I will hear His voice for what to do next.

Confession #2
     I don't know if it because I am a couple years shy of 40 or what, but I AM A SNOB! 
No, I haven't always been and no, I am not snobby about everything, however, I am finding that you really do get what you pay for!

Here is where I have turned snobby:

1. Chocolate. No, no, Hershey's will not do! All chocolate is well, chocolate, but um, it aint. Not until you've tried true Belgian chocolate go here or homemade chocolate from a non-chain chocolate store...go here, you won't regret it  -That woman who owns this place was trained under a  Swiss master chocolatier  (I tasted the chocolates in person and wow)!  My personal local favorite is from Boulder, Colorado called, Chocolove.
   I just find that American chocolate for the most part doesn't do it for me. It tastes cheap. Again, I am a snob about this.

2. Bras. Yes, the b-word. Isn't it bad enough we have to wear something strapped to us? Shouldn't it be comfortable? Not scratchy, itchy and or chafing? Assuming that you are wearing the er, correct size and all, the bra should feel soft and wearable. And I am talking about a REAL bra...not something cute for hubby! I refuse to wear a cheap brand. I know, I know I sound like a typical spoiled U.S. female. No, I am not so low to have my bills go unpaid or be in debt for a good bra, but I have to say it is something I would be willing to save up for! It is just that important.

3. Shoes. This is definitely a sign that I am getting old. I rarely do heels. Yes, they make us all have firmer looking bottoms and all, but I don't like my feet to hurt. I don't want to look like Barbie for the rest of my life...permanent feet in a heel position with doctor bills for a bad back!
Now, I will tell you that you don't have to spend hundreds of dollars necessary to get a good shoe and that the price tag does NOT always guarantee a cushion cloud for your foot. So I patiently wait for shoes to go on sale and the key is to try and try and try shoes on to find the brands that feel cozy to you.

Okay, so there you have it...my confessions. Your turn, do you have any thing you have stepped out of fear that you handed to God? Are you snobby about anything?
-Please don't leave me hanging...leave a comment.

Linking up with Jen and real sisters @ findingheaventoday.com
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